The Zika outbreak that began in April 2015 may cause the Brazil Olympics to be postponed or moved due to the extensive epidemic in Brazil. At least that is what Professor Amir Attarman hopes.
The Summer Olympics is going to be held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil where reports of Zika-infected cases ballooned to 4700, according to a BBC report. Due to the upcoming Olympics and the still unresolved Zika virus that pose a dangerous threat to the health of the competing athletes, Professor Amir Attaran has advised that “the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games must be postponed, moved, or both, as a precautionary concession” in his Harvard Public Review article.
He further writes that to go into the Zika-infected Rio for the Summer Olympics is counter-intuitive to what Games’ own charter, which mentions “social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.”
Professor Attarman surmises that to proceed with the Olympics will pave the way for the localized outbreak to reach new dangerous international levels if and when infected athletes and other participants might serve as hosts for the virus to spread beyond Brazil. He has since reiterated it in an interview with CNN.
Meanwhile, the Olympic committee has issued no such postponement or change of venue. Instead, the International Olympic Committee has released a statement saying they are working closely with the involved authorities to monitor the Zika situation.
IOC spokesperson Andrew Mitchell said to CNN, “We are working with our partners in Rio on measures to deal with the pools of stagnant water around the Olympic venues, where the mosquitoes breed, to minimize the risk of visitors coming into contact with them.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has already released a travel notice ahead of the scheduled Rio Olympics from August 5-21 and the Paralympic Games from September 7-18. The American Olympic Committee has also given their athletes the freedom to withdraw participation in the coming Olympics due to the Zika virus while the Australian Olympic Committee sees it as a minimum risk situation for its athletes.
If the Greeks prohibited wars while the Olympic games were being held so that spectators can come and watch freely and safely, for Dr. Attarman, the Zika-infected mosquitoes won’t easily be controlled to give way to the Rio Olympics 2016.